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Felony Plea Down To Misdemeanor

Kent, WA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

There seems to be a lot of house burnings lately.

If someone threatens that, by words, to burn someone house down with the occupants in it, first, would that be a "threat to kill" if the word kill was never used? In Kilburn the word kill was never used. The boy simply said he would "bring a gun and shoot everybody." The decent on the losing side argued that was a threat to kill.

And second, how could there be a plea to a lower charge, in the "burn your house down?"
It is not a general “I’ll punch you in the nose” therefore "any bodily harm" can be charged…

And third, If a plea goes down to say disorderly in District Court, does the lower court prosecutors then, after the [new] charge have the option to dismiss the case even though Superior set new court date in case plea goes haywire.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

If a case is filed as a felony in Superior Court, then it stays in Superior Court even if it's reduced to a misdemeanor.

Threats to kill can be interpreted many ways, every case is a little different and weighs on little nuances. Hard to give advice unless it's advice from the attorney actually handling the case and unless that attorney has handled such cases in the past.

Yes, disorderly conduct is a likely reduction. Given the facts you've stated, seems like a reasonably good result. Plea to a lower charge can always be done by following the case: In Re Barr.

Hire a good attorney and follow their advice on this case.

JensenLegal.com (206) 617-9173

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Asker

Posted

is there an attorney out there that can answer at least one of my questions other than "talk to an attorney"?? BTW, the case IS going to District Court for the lower charge and is not "staying in Superior"...

Posted

To answer your questions in order:
1) It depends on what was said: "I'm going to burn this house down around you and all you family and you will all burn in hell" is substantially different than saying "I'm going to burn your house down." So it depends on the facts of the specific threat.

2) If the case was charged as a felony, it could be plea to a gross misdemeanor harassment.

3) I think what you are asking is whether the case would be transferred to District Court once the reduction is to a misdemeanor? The answer to that is no, the case would stay in Superior Court for plea, sentence and for any review of conditions of that sentence.

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Posted

1.The alleged words were more close to your example of "I'll burn your house down with you in it" nothing more or less, in a two way argument, victim as only witness in a driving incident. Alleged perp was only one arrested. 2. The Superior Court prosecutor is in fact offering an Alford plea to, in... District Court as a re-charge to a disorderly conduct and moved out of Superior unless plea is not accepted then it goes back to Superior for trial. My main question(s) were, do the actually word, in case this does go to trial," kill" need to be used to make it a felony with no other criteria involved to make it a felony and 2. can the lower court outright dismiss the case once it is charged in District Court at lower charge even though the Superior Court won't have dismissed it without prejudice an is waiting in the wings. It seems to me S C doesn't want the case!!

Posted

I agree with Kris. This reduction to a misdemeanor plea would appear (based only on what you have stated in your question) to be a good deal. Very good.

Pleas can be withdrawn under certain circumstances. The Superior Court setting a trial date for the case as a backup maintains jurisdiction until the matter is resolved. If the plea is entered in District Court, the Superior Court action ends.

Can the district court dismiss the charge? Theoretically, yes. However, I seriously doubt that the prosecutor assigned to the felony case has not already discussed the matter with the district court supervisor (for the deputies assigned to that district court) and made it abundantly clear they don't want to go down that road.

Defense filing a motion to dismiss is something to carefully think through. Seriously. The case has already been reduced, and filing what the judge (and prosecutor) may feel is a frivolous motion to dismiss may end up backfiring and the judge might impose a different sentence than what you agree to do with the prosecutor.

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Areg Allen Sarkissian

Areg Allen Sarkissian

Posted

"SPECIFIC INTENT."

Michael James Pratum

Michael James Pratum

Posted

I misread part of this question. The case would have to be transferred to District Court from Superior Court or it would have to be dismissed and refiled in District Court. A reduction to a misdemeanor in Superior Court would not result in a transfer of the case to a different court.

Asker

Posted

Your answer(s) was very good. My concern, as a guy with no priors just one unfortunate event, is two fold and the first will seem trivial. Now that it will be refiled in D C, as a misdemeanor, I will have another record under my name (when searched) and two, a question as to why the S C Pro can't take the lower disorderly plea in Superior Court? I know misdemeanors are only in D C but as part of the original case, can't the S C Pros handle that plea. I heard it's because of the probation aspect. I am also afraid the D C judge will add jail time to the low first time offense.

Posted

You must look into the intent of the individual....arson is a specific intent crime.

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